Mr. Shoaib Ahmad Siddiqi
Federal Secretary, Ministry of Information Technology,
The people of Pakistan live in a stone age of digital services. One can only blame the bureaucrats (read colonial clerks) sitting in the IT ministry for that. They have kept Pakistan behind not by decades but by centuries. Your ministry is a sheer wastage of tax payers’ money and ought to be shut down.
As a citizen, I humbly request that you look at the following four issues for immediate implementation. These tasks can be done in a matter of days and not months and years.
1. Some 4 million Pakistanis make 2 to 3 visits to different banks and offices to pay their vehicle tax every year. This could be done by sitting at home and using one of the half a dozen or so phone money transfer services available in Pakistan. This does not require any new inventions. The world has been doing this for the last 30 years. What makes Pakistan and the ‘Digital Pakistan’ not adopt this in a matter of weeks.
2. Some 7 million Pakistani, mostly senior citizens stand in a queue before various National saving Centres to beg for the interest on their own investments. Why can everyone’s profit not AUTOMATICALLY be transferred to the individual bank accounts and everyone simply receive an auto sms for the amount transferred. No citizens should need to make these torturous visits to the NSCs. Again , this involves no new science and can be done in a matter of weeks. Auto bank transfer services have been known to humankind for at least last 40 years.
3. Sixty percent of Pakistani children are not registered and have no birth certificate. The government has no idea of the presence or absence of sixty percent of its kids. What great digital science is needed to create mechanisms for recording each and every birth of a child.
4. Almost 100 percent of Pakistan’s bureaucracy cannot or does not respond if you send them an e mail. Govt Websites either do not give email address of its officials or these addresses are completely non-functional. Despite being the Head of the IT Ministry, you retain the dubious honour of those who do not respond to their e mails. Please do.
The ordinary people of Pakistan are least interested in a talk about a grand digital strategy or five fantastic pillars of digital policy. They are simply interested in the digital services that the state provides, that could make their lives less torturous.
Regards and look forward to hearing from you.
29 June 2020